No, it’s not O.J. Simpson on the highway again. Click here to read the news story on The Dreadhead Cowboy who put Nunu’s life on the line, from last week.

The Facts About What Happened To Nunu The Horse On The Dan Ryan Expressway

Breakdown of the facts:

  • What? Nunu the horse was ridden nearly to death for 7.5 miles.
    • Why? Impromptu protest of gun violence against children.
    • When: Exactly 1 week ago 9/21/20 at around 4:30 p.m.
    • Where: Dan Ryan Expressway, started at 35th Street feeder ramp.
    • By Who? Adam Hollingsworth, 33 (a.k.a Dreadhead Cowboy or Census Cowboy).
    • How: With a motorcycle escort and Hollingsworth yelling “kids lives matter!” Nunu had no horsehoes on and her saddle was not properly padded.

Authorities found Nunu collapsed on the pavement near 95th Street in Chicago, overheated, dehydrated, bleeding from the hooves, and with sores beneath her saddle. And “the horse’s eyes were dilated to the point they looked like cartoon eyes,”Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said.

I don’t think I need to express my both angry and sad feelings about what happened to Nunu. I would like to focus on the happily ever after aspect of her story.

Tortured Beauty Saved

Many people have seen the videos of NuNu being ridden down the Dan Ryan Expressway. What many people haven’t seen is her struggle to survive after a horribly abusive situation. After her care location was publicly revealed, that location created a GoFundMe to assist with her long-term care needs and to create programs to honor her journey. And Nunu’s caretakers are none of other than Forest View Farms in Tinley Park, IL.

NuNu is a beautiful horse, both inside and outside.  She’s tired right now but that doesn’t stop her from her interest in people and always seeking out an ear scratch.  She’s not shy about a gentle nudge to remind you to keep scratching either. In  the horse world it is said a horse has a kind eye. We feel that she owns that phrase, she is so very kind.  NuNu showed the true heart of a horse by doing what was asked of her on the Dan Ryan that day even though she was laboring.  NuNu gave it her all that day because that’s the kind of horse she is…..a warrior.  She’s not out of the woods yet and we are relying on that brave, fighting spirit she showed that day as the world watched her struggle.

Euthanasia is a humane measure needed in cases like Nunu’s, where the maltreatment she was put through was “the equivalent of forcing an 80-year-old woman to run a full marathon,” according to Cook County prosecutors. But thankfully that’s not in the picture anymore.

Keep Your Eye On The Kind

Nunu would not have survived without immediate treatment she received and the generous donations she also received. That’s the story I want to see more of in the news. There’s this famous Mister Roger’s quote that comes from a story he would tell about what his mother told him when he was little:

Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.

— Mister Roger’s Mom

That’s what I saw over this weekend. The GoFundMe was launched just a few days ago on Friday and by Sunday it had well surpassed its goal of $5,000 by a little over double. This story of people coming together to help a living being in need is what gives me and hopefully others hope that things will get better. Nunu has less of a need to be euthanized because of the generosity she was shown over the weekend, and will no doubt continue to be shown. The image of a horse literally down-trodden, but saved from the brink of death I think is a metaphor for our world right now. I can’t think of any adult I know who hasn’t felt like they were being ridden to death in a metaphorical sense—trying to support their families, dreams, or what have you. Nunu couldn’t ask for help herself, and many of us don’t feel feel like we can ask for help, but asking for helping is not something to be ashamed of. You never know who will suprise you. Just think about the people who saw and saved Nunu this weekend; both those who found her on 95th street and those who stumbled upon her story online. Reaching out is hard if you worry what people will think, but there’s a reason there’s that phrase “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

FUN FACT: That widely circulated quote, actually came from FDR presidential advisor Bernard Baruch, not Dr. Seuss.

Why Am I Writing About This?

I wanted to share about Nunu and Forest View Farms on the blog because negative parts of a news story tend to get so much press that the positive outcomes tend to be overlooked. Recognizing someone in a public way not only makes them feel good, but their story makes other people feel good to, and has the potential to inspire more good deeds to happen. Forest View Farms, the people who helped Nunu on the 95th street, and online through donations and spreading the word—we don’t know all their names, but we know what they did, we know that good people are still out there…more than we know…we just don’t see enough of the good being reported these days.

News tends to focus on the negative side of stories, but I believe there needs to be a balance of the good with the bad news. I cannot understand why Mr. Hollingsworth felt this was the way to bring attention to senseless gun violence against children. Putting an innocent life in danger like he did to Nunu the horse was the equivalent of one of those ancient virgin sacrifices to a volcano you only read about in history books. It’s what happens after, Nunu’s happily ever after, that keeps my spirit going, and I hope yours.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled For The Children’s Camp

The children’s camp mentioned in Forest View Farm’s GoFundMe will educate children in the care of animals.  As this will be volunteer based there will be little to no cost to the farm with no intent to use the funds for NuNu’s medical care. This is a wonderful way to honor Nunu and help educate younger generations about animals.

Statement from Forest View Farms

Nunu will likely suffer pain for the rest of her life, but she now has the care she needs to manage it and keep it at bay until she rides into that great big sunset in the sky. Here’s the official statement from Forest View Farms in Tinley Park on what to look forward to for Nunu and the camp for children she inspired them to develop:

As the fund exceeded the $10,000 mark, it was decided to stop accepting donations for NuNu at this time. To be very clear – she will need specialized care for the rest of her life, and the money already raised will go for that. Once the court case has come to its end, there might be additional fundraising efforts for her long-term care. 

For those asking to see the vet’s reports to “prove” her injuries, NuNu is currently part of a criminal case. The only publicly available information on her health is in the State’s Attorney’s report. We also appreciate everyone that reached out to ask about visits, adoption or care packages. NuNu is not receiving guests at this time, and the majority of our indoor facilities are not open to the public due to COVID-19. We will be posting many updates about NuNu’s journey to keep everyone informed!

Forest View Farms is not a 501(c)3 – we are a farm that has served the south and western suburbs of Chicago for over 60 years. Because we love ALL animals, the farm has rarely said no to a rescue animal that comes to us for help. Many of our horses, ponies and other animals are, in fact, rescues that we love and care for without expecting anything from them. To assist in clarifying these roles, we will be filing paperwork this week on a separate 501(c)3 organization for these animals. In the meantime, many have continued to ask about donation options since the GoFundMe has closed. When COVID-19 started, we created a sponsorship program to assist with animal care due to the fact that our income levels have been drastically reduced. That page still exists and we offer this as an option to those of you. We completely understand that this might not be the route many choose to take, but all help is appreciated. We will update you with this part of the story, as well.

Once again, thank you to everyone that continues to support NuNu and Forest View Farms. Our farm family greatly appreciates the uplifting comments and love!

Here’s the link to Forest View Farms’ Animal Sponsorships Form if you’d like to be a sponsor.

You can also read and/or watch my interview with one of Nunu’s caretakers Jagoda Labuz here to learn about equine therapy.


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